October 9th, 2012
Breastfeeding flashmobs: Chinese mothers are abandoning formula
By Tessa Thorniley
Given the many food scandals in China, particularly the ones linked to baby milk powder, it is distressing how few Chinese mothers breastfeed. It is something you almost never see women (other than foreigners) doing in public.
But all that may be about to change. Last month a breastfeeding flashmob popped up in a busy shopping mall in the central Chinese city of Wuhan to highlight the benefits of the boob and to call for more nursing rooms in public places.
The sit-in was part of a Ministry of Health campaign to increase the number of mothers who breastfeed exclusively for six months from less than 30 per cent today to 50 per cent by 2020.
Chinese prefer formula because formula companies tell them it is healthier and it bulks babies up more. Families who can afford it are increasingly forking out £30 a tub for safer, imported formula brands such as Aptamil.